Edward Timpson has praised Oak View Academy’s ‘innovation and ambition’ during a visit to the Winsford school.
The former Children’s Minister, who will stand as the Conservative candidate for the Eddisbury constituency in the upcoming General Election, popped in to see the progress being made at the Whitby’s Lane primary.
He last visited Oak View a year ago, and was impressed with the improvements which have led to it being named one of the country’s most improved schools, according to latest SATs results.
Now Mr Timpson has been further impressed with the ongoing drive to lift standards higher.
He said: “It has been great to see the transformation into the good school we see today, and also the ambition to move even further forward in providing a high quality, nurturing, personalised education for children in Winsford, for whom this is their future.
“This is an opportunity to understand some of the ongoing challenges for schools in making sure every minute of every day is focused on the children’s development academically, socially and emotionally, but also making sure staff are well supported.
“I have spent the best part five years as Children’s Minister and have written an independent review into school exclusions, so education is something that is very close to my heart. I want to keep a strong and constructive relationship – not just at Oak View – but all schools across the area.
“It is good to see a school being innovative and creative, because sometimes this is where an opportunity is lost to unlock what has been holding a child back.”
Mr Timpson was given a tour of the academy by Principal Fiona Whittaker, who guided the school out of special measures in 2014. It is now classified as ‘Good’ by Ofsted and is well on the road to being rated ‘Outstanding’.
Ms Whittaker said: “There are so many good things happening at this school, but we are constantly looking for ways to get better.
“We do everything we can to keep our children engaged and, as part of North West Academies Trust, we work very closely to make sure our systems are constantly challenged and changed when they are not working as well as we’d like.
“My philosophy in education is to try to understand why children behave a certain way, and to do everything we can to make them feel good about themselves.
“I will never accept where we are ‘good enough’. There will always be improvements and new challenges.”
Steve Docking, CEO of NWAT, added: “Oak View Academy is a great place for children to learn and a positive example of what can be achieved when you never accept second best.”